The prep time is a mere ten minutes if you use fresh shiitake. If using dried, you need to rehydrate them throughly in hot water before searing. The advantage of using dried mushrooms is that you'll get a richer flavor. Decide which is more important to you: the short prep time or better flavor.
Wipe the shiitake caps with a paper towel then use a sharp knife to make shallow slashes on top (this will help the mushrooms soak up more of the dressing later). Halve the mushrooms if they are on the large side.
Peel and finely slice the shallot.
Halve the cherry tomatoes.
In an oil free frying pan, toast the sesame seeds until lightly browned and nutty in aroma. Set aside to cool.
Drizzle the sesame oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Spread the shiitake on the bottom of the oiled pan and sear, about 30 seconds per side.
Pour about a quarter cup of water over the mushrooms, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the mushrooms until the water has dried out.
Transfer the mushrooms to a shallow bowl.
Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing. Drizzle over the mushrooms. Toss well. Cover the bowl, pop into the fridge and let the mushrooms marinate in the dressing for at least 30 minutes.
Take the mushrooms out the fridge, add the cherry tomatoes and sliced shallot, and toss.
To serve, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and, optionally, torn fresh cilantro.
Updated from a recipe originally published in March 17, 2019